Tag Archives: silicon valley

Master the market.

Every Sunday, downtown Campbell closes to cars and opens to entrepreneurs who masquerade as hippies, and sell organic bread, homegrown fruit and other overpriced earthy fluff.

We’ve been so often we’ve now mastered the routine. Here are the 16 steps you need to win at an American farmer’s market.

Continue reading Master the market.

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The kid is coming.

What’s stronger than a thousand men?
More violent than a Tarantino movie?
Windier than the curry mile?

Since we moved here, the myth of El Niño has spread faster than a Californian wildfire.

Continue reading The kid is coming.

Want fries with that billboard?

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I bet Wendy’s are delighted with that placement.

Five ways to meet women.

I met Alex 10 years ago.

When I realised I was punching above my weight, I proposed. We married, had kids, and argued over which traits they picked up from us (good looks and playfulness – Alex; bad eyesight and skin allergies – me).

Continue reading Five ways to meet women.

What it boils down to.

This is our kettle. God it’s awful.

Just look at it.

With its stuck-up spout and pretentious double handle that’s too hot to lift without an oven glove.

It doesn’t even have a measure on the side to let you know how many cups it will make. It just arrogantly expects you to know by sight.

And it’s annoying. So annoying. When it’s done, it’s just dying to let you know with a high-pitched whistle. “Oooooh look at me everybody, I’ve boiled the water AND I’m shrieking”. Frickin’ show-off.

Continue reading What it boils down to.

16 things we’ve learned about life in the US.

Today is exactly 6 months since we left the UK.

In that time, Alex has taken up running, Daisy has tantrummed in some of the biggest public spaces in Northern California, and Ava has turned into a walking, talking all-American kid. Me? The main change I’ve noticed is that I wear white socks more than I used to, without worrying about my street cred.

Here’s the 16 things we’ve learned since we got here…  Continue reading 16 things we’ve learned about life in the US.

Trick or treat is not a rhetorical question.

Hallowe’en is a big deal out here. Like, Christmas big.

In the weeks leading up to the 31st, you can’t miss it. House decorations, advertising, grocery stores, even church signs… it’s bloody everywhere. They don’t do anything half-arsed in the US, but I do – and having left it to the last-minute to get a costume for a Hallowe’en party, I went into a nearby pop-up shop.

Continue reading Trick or treat is not a rhetorical question.

Dancing with salesmen.

I still remember my first slow dance.

It was at the Excel summer camp disco, circa 1992. During the day the boys had all decided who we’d go for, so when the evening rolled around, it was just a matter of plucking up the courage. She was a 7, and I was a 6 at best. I was punching above my weight and I knew it – but a bunch of her friends had already been asked to dance, and I figured she didn’t want to be the last one standing. So, I took a deep breath and asked her to dance. She half-shrugged/half-nodded, and then we quickly assumed the position: my hands on her hips, hers on my shoulders. As we moved woodenly from side to side, I spent the duration of the song trying not to stare at her chest. Which was tricky, given how bloody tall she was.

Continue reading Dancing with salesmen.

House hunt.

We’re more than 6 weeks in now.

As much as we’re loving our new life out here, we come across meaningful reminders of home every now and again.

The other week Alex found Weetabix in our local grocery store and almost wept with joy. Seriously. She displayed levels of happiness that I’ve not seen before. I’ve proposed to her, fathered her children, and moved her out to California. But give her a box of whole grain cereal, any day of the week. Continue reading House hunt.